Sunday, February 28, 2010

Game Review - Alchemize

Review - Alchemize - $2.99 (AppShopper Link)

The puzzle game genre has been around a very long time - since the early days of video games, really. The first one that comes to mind is Tetris, in which falling blocks fit together to make rows disappear. Since then, thousands of other games have paid homage to it or otherwise tweaked the formula to make things a little different and a little more interesting. A recent entry in the long line of puzzle games on the iPod touch and iPhone is "Alchemize", a game that, like those that came before it, involves matching 3 or more objects with the same color/symbol to make them disappear, give you points, and get to the next level.

Alchemize has an interesting twist on the tried and true (or overplayed?) match-3 formula. Instead of the items simply disappearing when matched, they transform into one item of a different color/symbol. For example, matching three or more green flasks yields one yellow bottle. And, as the game's name suggests, the ultimate goal is to create gold. I haven't gotten far enough in the game to find the item that transforms to gold, but I'm sure I'll feel like an accomplished alchemist when I do.

Alchemize has several game modes, of which I've only played two. In Classic mode you have unlimited time to relax and match those flasks, bottles, and goblets at your leisure. The game ends when the screen fills up with unmatched items or when you create gold. In Action mode, you have a limited amount of time to do each move. More time is given for each match, but no time is given for simply dropping items w/o making matches. It's pretty frantic.

All in all, Alchemize is very intriguing and should be a lot of fun for fans of casual puzzle gaming. I'm not in that camp, but I can't deny that these kinds of games are the best for short bursts of gaming when you're on the go or waiting in line for something.

There's also a free Mini version that you can try before you buy.